Toni and Neil’s wedding at St Dennis Church on Tuesday 18th December 2012 with Lily.
Toni and Neil chose their December date wisely – if there was a day during week commencing 16th, to book a wedding, it certainly had to be the Tuesday!
The sun, albeit lacking potency, shone for large parts of the day, it didn’t rain and to top it all, it was unseasonally mild. However, just a few hours later, Cornwall witnessed the arrival of a 5 day monsoon – the 18:30 from Mumbai!
For the second time in just 4 days, I, Chauffeur Bob, had the privilege of escorting Lily in the direction of St Dennis for another Christmas wedding.
With plenty of time scheduled in for good measure, our run up the A30 from Strawberry Leisure HQ proved relatively uneventful. As ever, Lily grabbed her usual amount of attention along with a splattering of tractor mud, ironically just as we neared St Dennis. A pit stop ensued, the cloths came out and within minutes Lily was back to her spotless, sparkling best.
We arrived at Toni’s ‘tucked-away’ abode bang on time at 12:30 and with her wedding just 30 minutes away, I announced our arrival at ‘That Place’ of high industry and jangling nerves where, on a wedding morning, the bridal party prepare and fight for the bathroom!
A topless Lily awaiting the bridal party in St Dennis.
Excited and lovely – Toni’s bridesmaids about to depart for the church.
Proud Dad, Gary with Toni ready for departure.
The plan was for Lily to take Toni and her Dad, Gary, to the church, just a few minutes away. The bridesmaids were to travel with family friend, Adam, in his shiny Land Rover Discovery.
Not wanting to apply unintentional ‘getting ready pressure’ by my presence, I said I’ll be waiting outside with Lily – you have to be sensitive to such matters!
12:50 and Toni’s bridesmaids were first to appear, beautifully attired in white and light green gowns, all sporting crimson red gerbera bouquets.
Adam had conveniently managed to park his Land Rover in a private parking space directly opposite to avoid obstructing traffic flow. It had remained there for some thirty minutes or so before the bridal party emerged, whereupon ‘Murphy’s Law’ came into play as the property owners returned to claim their spot at exactly the wrong time!
A few photos and a quick car shuffle later, the bridesmaids were on their way to the church just half a mile away.
Toni and Gary stepped out a few moments later and I stepped into chauffeuring duty by helping to keep Toni’s flowing dress out of harm’s way, as proud Dad and Daughter climbed aboard a topless Lily.
With the light pouring in through her famously rare open roof and 21 windows, we paused for a couple of ‘departing for church’ snaps, set off and arrived shortly afterwards to the sound of peeling bells. It was just after 1 o’clock.
Popular photographer James Hill, from This Life Photography was there to capture our arrival and, as usual, was impeccably attired. Standing alongside to receive Lily’s VIP’s were the Bridesmaids and Vicar.
Time for a few poses and to gather composure, before finally on cue, the bridal party made their way down the path for their rendezvous with the awaiting congregation and of course Toni’s meeting of a lifetime with her fiancé, Neil.
During the ceremony, I couldn’t help overhearing the moving sound of a male voice choir. Their repertoire included a rather splendid and atmospheric rendition of Some Enchanted Evening, from Rogers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific.
Sporting his Army uniform, Neil emerged arm in arm with his new wife some 50 minutes later. Neil’s Army colleagues, similarly attired, formed an impressive guard of honour with fishing rods. I was told that Neil is an avid, ace fisherman. You could say the happy couple received a full military ‘flycast’!
Lily at St Dennis Church awaiting the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Gaff.
A formal set of photographs followed with family and friends and before the happy couple made their way to Lily they set off into the grounds with the impeccably attired James in hot pursuit for some special, ‘just the two of us’ snaps. In the meantime Lily had been causing her usual stir with guests; many taking it in turns to pose inside and around her. Lily’s ragtop was still rolled back when Mr. and Mrs. Gaff eventually returned. Toni was feeling a little ‘pasty’, brought on we all felt by the emotions of the occasion – Toni agreed.
However, we still managed to get the ‘champers’ popped and capture a few final precious moments before departing in Lily for their reception at the Carnmarth Hotel, Newquay.
Fortunately, Toni started to feel better as we chugged our way over to Newquay, but it was clear that our planned penultimate stop over at Fistral Beach would reluctantly have to be postponed. Instead the newlyweds decided it would be best to make use of an earlier than planned arrival at the hotel to enable Toni to fully recover in time for their reception and evening celebrations. As much as I really wanted them to get some snaps on the beach with Lily, I felt they had made the right decision.
Lily topless in December for Toni and Neil’s wedding.
We said our goodbyes. Toni and Neil expressed their thanks and despite Toni feeling somewhat under the weather, they were keen to say that they had really enjoyed their time with Lily.
As I returned to Strawberry Leisure HQ, ahead of the imminent 5 day monsoon, I was really hoping that Toni would continue to improve in time to enjoy the rest of the day to the full.
Congratulations to a really lovely couple x.
All photographs taken by Strawberry Leisure unless otherwise stated.